What are the security risks in schools?

It is vital that our schools are as protected and secure as possible. Students and teachers alike spend large portions of their weekdays here, so they need to know they are as secure as possible for their own safety.

Unfortunately, there are many security risks that can occur at school ranging from truancy to unauthorised access which could lead to fires, vandalism and threats. Although security measures are expensive, and schools are run on strict budgets, it is a lot more costly to deal with the effects of a security breach than it potentially is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here we discuss some of the security risks schools face and how we can try and combat them.

Property related crime is a relatively common occurrence and risk at schools. Vandalism and theft not only cause damage to the property and the need to replace the equipment, it could lead to a serious data breach if sensitive information is leaked. It also causes disruption to the running of the school and lessons, which in turn will impact the quality of learning. Having repeated acts of this type can also have a demotivating impact on both staff and students.

Perimeter Security
It is common for vandalism to happen on school grounds after hours and during school holidays. Due to the school being unoccupied for significant amounts of time during these school breaks, it makes the premises vulnerable, especially if the sufficient security measures are not in place. Perimeter security is the easiest and often most cost-effective method of controlling this. Having gates and fences around the entire boundary of the school not only prevents unauthorised people from coming onto the site whilst the school is closed, they are equally as effective during school hours as well. Having security gates in full time use will also reduce the risk of truancy. Schools with extensive fields and land need to ensure that all of the perimeter is as secure as possible.

Access Control
A lot of schools have many different points of entry which makes securing the property difficult. In many circumstances the school may offer services to the local community such as a gym, library or nursery which will mean access to the general public will be necessary. Not having control over who comes into the school can cause problems. To reduce the risk of anything bad happening, ensuring the main buildings, and rooms storing important equipment and data such as computer rooms and server rooms, should have additional security and methods of access control. Having key cards and entry codes are ways to add this additional security. Its also important to ensure computer rooms and server rooms are not on the ground floor if possible, as these are in a more vulnerable location.

Bollards and Speed Ramps
It is not only the risk of vandalism, theft and unauthorised entry which schools have to consider. School car parks are there to be used by staff and parents, however these come with their own security risk. Due to how busy car parks come at the beginning and end of the school day, the volume of vehicles and pedestrians can lead to the risk of injury or damage. Having bollards to block off some areas from vehicles parking as well as having speed ramps to ensure traffic is always slow are two simple ways of reducing this risk.

The risks discussed are just some that schools can face daily. The security of schools needs to be measured and assessed regularly to ensure the staff and students remain safe. Although security measures can be costly, Gateway Automation can help to choose the most cost-effective options for you. For a free non-obligation quotation and feasibility survey please contact Gateway Automation on 01522 682255.

Why physical security is just as important as cyber security

It is common and smart for businesses to focus a lot of their attention on cyber security. With almost all businesses now using some sort of computers, the risks of cyber threats and protecting sensitive data is vital. However, it is also important for business not to let this focus on cyber security make them forget the need for physical security, which is just as important and can actually help towards cyber security at the same time. Here are just a few ways in which physical security is just as important for a business.

Perimeter security acts as a deterrent for unwanted visitors
The simplest form of physical security is using a form of perimeter security such as gates and fencing. Not only do these acts as a deterrent for people entering the businesses’ property unauthorised, it gives the business full control over who comes into your building and who doesn’t, reducing the risk of unauthorised people getting close to sensitive company data.

Physical security can help protect your servers
Keeping your servers in a separate room that only authorised people with access control can enter will help protect your cyber security. Knowing that unauthorised personnel cannot come near your IT infrastructure will give you peace of mind. Although remote access from unauthorised hackers is still a risk, ensuring they cannot physically get near your IT systems reduces the risk of information being stolen.

Criminals tend to look for IT systems first as they are valuable and contain important and sensitive information. Having access-controlled doors or gates will make it very difficult for the criminals to access.

Access Control
Using key cards and entry codes are just some of the most effective methods to ensure the correct people are entering your business, leaving rare opportunities for criminals to get access to your valuable equipment and information.

Security Guard
Sometimes having a person alongside your perimeter security will add an extra layer of security which could benefit your business greatly. Having someone to open and close the perimeter will ensure only authorised people can enter, it means your property is protected and also means there is someone there to take action if anything bad were to happen.

Creates a strong sense of security for staff
Although firewalls and encryption software are vital for businesses, having physical security alongside this will ensure all the staff and visitors feel secure whilst they are on your property. This leads to happier staff and can improve staff retention.

Although cyber security will rightfully continue to be a priority for businesses, forgetting about physical security or overlooking its importance would be a mistake. They can be used together as part of a security suite to ensure your premises and the information it contains remains as safe as possible.

To find out more about how our forms of physical security systems and devices can help you protect your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your security equipment.